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Make It or Break It! (A Maker Topic)


This is a place for people who like to make things.

You don’t have to consider yourself as part of the “maker” community.

You can do whatever you do and help whoever wants to talk: 3D printing, building robots, crochet, quilting, knitting, cool Lego projects, carpentry, engineering, macrame, cos-play, building a nuclear weapon wait nope, not that last one…

BUT! If you want to make something and want some advice, or have made something that you want to share with the rest of us, please be aware that there is a HUGE GROUP OF NERDS AND GEEKS who hang out at SU&SD who might be able to either help you, or who can appreciate the awesome thing you’ve done.

Building Kits: Lego, models, 3dPuzzles, etc
What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?

OK, here’s a thing. A friend of mine owns a 3D printer, and is willing to print stuff relatively cheaply. I’d like to make a ridiculous, unnecessary card rack accessory for Innovation based on this design: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/150180/3d-printed-innovation-board

The problems are two-fold.

  1. A 120 x 120 x 120 mm size limit means it will need to be in 10 parts.

  2. I have absolutely no idea how to start.

Any tips on 3D design for beginners?


[rubs hands gleefully]

I’ve been 3d printing for a couple of years, commercially as well as for my own use.

If you don’t find text files intimidating, I strongly recommend OpenSCAD - it lets you write a program to say “this thing is this big, that thing is that big and intersects with it like this”, and so on. For game accessories that have to interact with e.g. cards of a particular size, I find it amazingly useful.

If you want to take a more traditional approach of dragging things to where you want them, Blender has an… idiosyncratic… user interface, but is free and pretty powerful once you’ve got the hang of it. For some reason almost all the tutorials I’ve found for it take the form of YouTube videos.

For you and other people, I’m happy to into more detail about how I design something if there’s interest.

Ways of fastening things together:

  • glue
  • springy clips built into the design (very hard to get right)
  • some sort of hybrid (e.g. interlocking holes in the design, and you drop a nail down them to hold them together, like a traditional door hinge)


Thanks for the links. Before I embark on the rather intimidating step of designing anything from scratch, could you give me an indication of how feasible it is to use either of those tools to reverse-engineer an existing design such as the one I linked above? If I can generate an OpenSCAD program from an .stl file, that would make life much easier.


You can import stl into Blender with no problems, but OpenSCAD is more limited - you can import a mesh and scale and slice it, and indeed add objects to it (for one customer I added cubes to wipe out the obtrusive branding on the original), but it’s still the original mesh with your modifications, not a fully flexible design.


I recently joined a fabrication lab and have access to 3/6mm wood and laser cutters. My plan is to start designing and cutting inserts for my games, just as soon as I find the time…


It’s just as confusing as I thought. What I want to do is take the existing .stl object, define two cutting planes each perpendicular to a different face of the object right in the middle of the face. Cut, discard the resulting middle object, rotate one remaining object 36 degrees and merge with the other object.

… is that something I should be able to achieve? Is there a better tool to do it than Blender?


That’s exactly the kind of job where I use openscad’s import() and then add my own clipping objects.


I have the model imported to OpenSCAD. I await your tutorial with bated breath =P

(OK, I admit it, I’m probably never going to find the time to figure this out for the sake of a gimmicky card rack. I can definitely see the advantages of OpenSCAD over the clumsy WYSIWYG interfaces, but it is seriously intimidating)


Not having tons of money, we built a gaming table! We wanted something for 2-3 player games, so based it on a 3’ x 3’ play mat we picked up on Amazon. It’s a great size for the games we play most commonly, and we still have the big table for big games (once we fix an annoying lighting issue there.) You can see in the background the mix of “family” games and real games. My granddaughter (6) has about outgrown the easy games, and she’s kicking our butts in some real games, such as Azul.

Still working on my knitting. I can throw on easily now, but those stitches…I keep pulling the needles too far apart.

Not made myself, but to be assembled: I ordered a laser cut wood insert for Mage Knight that had very high reviews about two months ago. A month ago, I emailed and they said they had had to move to a new shop, etc. I just emailed yesterday, and it’s shipping out end of this week. I’ll post pics when I have it assembled.

Also, we built this:

Bunny Kingdom’s 180 card deck has a tendency to tip over when sleeved. Problem solved!


Well, bear in mind I’m currently in southern Sweden after a hard day’s drive from Germany. :slight_smile:

Import the file: import(“filename.stl”);
Render. Curse because it doesn’t appear. Coordinates in an STL file are absolute, and some people provide objects which are thousands of units away from the origin. I don’t know why.
If you have a text-mode file viewer, looking at the first few lines of the file will show you some x/y/z coordinates, so change the signs and put them in a translate. So your OpenSCAD file now looks something like

translate([-2000,-3000,-1000]) import(“filename.stl”);

and it should render somewhere near the origin. I then fine-tune the numbers to get the thing centred.

Then if you want to cut away a section of it, wrap it in a subtract() (which is A-B, boolean AND NOT) or intersect() (which is “only both A and B”, boolean AND). So you might have

intersection() {
translate([-2000,-3000,-1000]) import(“filename.stl”);

and then adjust the size of the cube (and possibly translate it too) until it’s getting the bit you want. Putting a % at the start of the line with the cube will show it in pink (IIRC) so that you can see where it’ll meet the original object.

Some STL files just won’t work - they throw errors when you try to export. Then it’s usually Blender time, though a few don’t work even there.

Hope this helps.


Just spent the afternoon making an insert for Specter Ops to hold the minis. It went … Ok.


I ended up using someone else’s OpenSCAD script, exporting the result as an .stl file, and using Blender to bevel most of the edges. Completely different design to what I had in mind and much much simpler, but it looks like it should be good. I’ll post a photo when and if my friend ever gets around to printing it.


Construction. F!^* yeah!!!


Well, finally finished my Gloomhaven storage;

(Beware, long post)

Off comes the lid, which nearly fits flush.

Under the map is the rulebook/map tile tray (The only bit I’m not happy with)

Under that is the rest of the game! Fits nicely!

Re-purposed screw box for the tokens.

Caddies for different cards - curses, city cards etc.

Monster trays.

Scenery trays.

The sleeves I bought came with these handy-dandy boxes! One for each player for small cards (Items etc) and a caddy full of all the others - sorted.

The whole lot out!


Note: I use some of the Gloomhaven Helper app, so I don’t need the monster ability cards.


That’s beautiful :star_struck:

Holy cow, really, that’s perfect.


Impressive. My own storage is a lot simpler - a tuckbox containing stat card, ability cards, and standees for each monster, and bunch of baggies.



Blood Bowl

If anyone wants any tips or files for making these games better (I think they are significant improvements on the originals), I can probably help. Also: Glory to Rome European-style and Love Letter with a Laputa theme.


Don’t ask if we want them! We do, put them here!

I do have to say, I’ve seen a lot of uses for Crown Royal bags, I’m shocked I haven’t seen them more often in gaming. They’re super handy! They only cost around $20-to-$40-ish bucks depending on the quality, and come with a free bottle of whiskey inside!


I actually had to order them from ebay. Had never heard of them before, but they popped up when I was researching drawstring bags with rounded bottoms. I had a suspicion that square bottoms affects in-bag-shuffling negatively.